My beginner opponents were about to go for their blue belts. My “novice” opponent was much better than my beginner opponents. Maybe she just trained every day for those 6 months... Oh well. Here's what I learned at the tournament:
- Don't hold heavy stuff between matches, like a camera for recording your husband's fights, or your baby and especially both. It wears your arms out. Suck it, baby, Mommy needs those arms for fighting!
- Position is my weakness. If someone lies back and lets me, I can totally submit them. So far, I have no takers. I need to learn how to get people off of me.
- I suck at takedowns. We really don't train takedowns at our gym – the occasional lesson, but we almost always start from knees. Considering how much my neck and back hurt now (4 days later), I'm okay with that. We don't have the “crash pads” or even a nice stack of mattresses with or without a pea in the middle.
- Even when I'm distracted with something important, like getting that woman off of me, I need to keep my elbows in. Yes, I was submitted with a kimura.
- Obnoxious parents exist in BJJ, too.
- Listening to the other corner is a good way to know what to defend against.
- Posture - Keep your hips directly below your head – don't lean out. When standing from in guard, pull one foot to the floor/knee up. Next, twist your knee so that your foot is beside you, then push off that foot to raise your knee. Now you are on your feet with your knees bent and your hips directly under your head. Stand up, shake off a leg and Gracie pass the other one.
I have a feeling she taught quite a bit more than this. There was definitely something about where to put your hands/elbows when your opponent has their hands on your sleeves. Oh, and some take down advice – don't try the soto gari if you are walking backwards, only when you are walking forwards. When you go for it, take a big enough step that you bend your knee to drop your weight, swing the other leg through and back between their legs, keeping that leg straight. And some posture drills. And some sneaky arm bar thing.
It was all a bit overwhelming for me. Not only had I just come off of a long car trip and was nervous about my first tournament the next day, but I was totally on the mat with KYRA GRACIE!!! Frankly, I'm surprised I can remember anything useful. Normally, I would have said that this was out of my league and I had no business going, but I don't know that I'll ever just happen to be in the same city as a Gracie seminar again...
On a side note, Kyra was extremely friendly and fun. She walked in, got out of her Canada clothes (this was in Boca Raton, FL) and into her gi, sat down with us and started talking about what it was like to grow up as a girl in a family full of … well, Gracies... She had very good English, except push and pull were tricky for her, as were elbow and shoulder; we all enjoyed a good laugh over push vs. pull.
I got a picture and an autograph, of course. I really want to go to her camp, or the Gracie Adventure Camp. One day I'll have enough money and my kids will be old enough to do without me for a week.
So I came home looking for some answers on how to get out of being mounted. This video looks helpful. I can't wait until I can move again and try it out!